An all-star cast wrestles with ghosts in gorgeous trailer for 'Crimson Peak'
Credit: Universal/Legendary

An all-star cast wrestles with ghosts in gorgeous trailer for 'Crimson Peak'

Guillermo Del Toro looks to have finally built his ultimate haunted house

There are plenty of movies released that I am perfectly happy knowing everything about before they ever show up in a theater. Then there are those films that I try to know nothing about because I imagine they will be such finely-tuned experiences that I don't want to deprive myself of that pleasure.

Such is the case with Guillermo Del Toro's new film, "Crimson Peak," his latest film, and while I did watch the trailer, I feel like I still know next to nothing about it, which I love. After all, we don't get a new movie from Del Toro every year, and this one in particular marks a sort of collision of the two different filmmakers that Del Toro can be. There's the guy who makes these big fun crazy blood-filled bags of popcorn that don't really look like anyone else's idea of what a mainstream movie is, and then there's the guy who makes lovely small-scale Spanish-language films that play like fever dreams full of ghosts and heartbreak.

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Why 'Law & Order: SVU' did more harm than good with their Gamergate episode
Credit: NBC

Why 'Law & Order: SVU' did more harm than good with their Gamergate episode

No one looks good in the episode that makes all gamers look bad

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is not what it once was. At its best, the series walked a tightrope between "ripped from the headlines" storytelling and a light touch on the way the personal lives of the cops and the lawyers would bleed into their work. The best years of the show focused on the increasingly tense partnership between Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni).

It's a show I watch out of habit at this point more than anything, and every now and then, they find an interesting angle on a real-life conversation. As a result, I was curious about this week's episode because I wanted to see how they would handle a fictionalized version of the Zoe Quinn/Gamergate story. To be clear, I think the entire Gamergate thing has been a repulsive example of the worst of what the Internet can accomplish, a disturbing, ugly skirmish in a larger cultural war, and I don't think there's much that is grey about the situation. For those still blissfully unaware of the situation, it began with a break-up between a game developer named Zoe Quinn and her boyfriend, who decided to publish a detailed and wildly inappropriate open letter to her about intimate issues. From that incident, a firestorm erupted that has given voice and focus to a very hate-filled minority, primarily made up of young white men who feel some sense of ownership over gaming and the definition of a gamer.

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Martin Starr charms in exclusive clip from his romantic new film 'Amira & Sam'
Credit: Drafthouse Films

Martin Starr charms in exclusive clip from his romantic new film 'Amira & Sam'

You can see this one at home and avoid the 50 crowds of grey altogether

Valentine's Day is Saturday, and we'll have some themed material rolling out for you over the next few days. I'm writing a couple of pieces right now, and I'm also really excited to present an exclusive clip from a film that would make a very nice, very cool choice to share with that special someone this weekend.

Martin Starr was in a film I saw at Sundance this year called "I'll See You In My Dreams," a very sweet, very honest little movie about a woman (Blythe Danner) starting to open back up to the idea of dating for the first time in over 20 years. Starr plays a pool guy who becomes an unlikely confidante for Danner, and one of the joys of the film is watching the way they play scenes together. Martin's wry delivery and Danner's impeccable combination of Southern grace and comic skill make them a lovely match.

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What happens when everyone decides to make James Bond movies at once?
Credit: 20th Century Fox/Warner Bros/New Line/Sony Pictures

What happens when everyone decides to make James Bond movies at once?

'Kingsman,' 'UNCLE,' and 'SPECTRE' are all aiming at the same iconography

It seems appropriate that Matthew Vaughn and Guy Ritchie began their film careers working together, and that they each seem to have helped define the British film industry now for sixteen years, because this year, both have decided to take on the most British of all British subjects… James Bond.

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Superman and a Winklevoss kick cold war butt in first 'Man From UNCLE' trailer
Credit: Warner Bros.

Superman and a Winklevoss kick cold war butt in first 'Man From UNCLE' trailer

This looks like some serious '60s throwback fun

From the first encounter they have on the street, the car-to-car gunfight, to the big boat action at the end, this looks like a blast.

I am really happy to see Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer here. Warner Bros. has a fair amount invested in Cavill at this point, and while I may not hold the most popular position on "Man Of Steel," I think Cavill in general was well-received. I like the voice it sounds like he's doing here, and I think Armie Hammer's Russian growl is very funny at first listen.

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Review: '50 Shades Of Grey' is glossy but hollow and comes up limp
Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: '50 Shades Of Grey' is glossy but hollow and comes up limp

HitFix
C+
Readers
n/a
Tasteful? Sure. Engrossing? Not really.

I never thought I'd say this about a bigscreen adaptation of "50 Shades Of Grey," but it's true: the damn thing's just not trashy enough.

The urge is understandable. When Dana Brunetti and Mike De Luca bought the EL James book, they knew full well what they were buying, and they knew that the first thing they had to do was approach this as a top-of-the-line A-list production across the board if they wanted anyone to take it seriously. The distance between this and about ten million movies that played on Cinemax at 2:00 in the morning is not that great, and if this is going to be the equivalent of the book as a movie, then it can't just be a modest hit. It needs to be a monster, a phenomenon. It needs to be something that people go see over and over, that people can't stop talking about.

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SXSW Midnights adds Turbo kids, eternal cannibals, heavy metal and deathgasms
Credit: SXSW

SXSW Midnights adds Turbo kids, eternal cannibals, heavy metal and deathgasms

It's going to be a wild ride this year

Jerod Neece, one of the masterminds behind the wildly-successful-and-constantly-metastasizing SXSW Film Festival, just tweeted the full line up of midnight movies. I think there was a certain poetry to the way he put it:

Ahhhhh, Jerod, you silver-tongued devil. What do you have up your sleeve?

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Rebel Wilson puts the rude front and center in new 'Pitch Perfect 2' trailer
Credit: Universal

Rebel Wilson puts the rude front and center in new 'Pitch Perfect 2' trailer

This will definitely be bigger, but will it also be better?

It's been a while since we had a full-fledge home video hit, a movie that did fine in theaters but that turned into a phenomenon at home, and most of the time, when that happens, the sequel ends up being a much bigger film than the first one.

"Pitch Perfect" was that full-fledged home video hit, and I'm guessing there are plenty of you who watched it any time you saw it go by on cable, over and over, so that the first film is basically burnt into your own personal hard drive by now. The characters, the songs, the jokes… all of it is aca-permanent now.

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Sony swings 'Spider-Man' deal with Marvel: What's Next?
Credit: Sony Pictures

Sony swings 'Spider-Man' deal with Marvel: What's Next?

We look at what you can expect from these films and why this deal had to happen

I know what this month's cover story is going to be on "Duh" magazine.

In news that makes sense to anyone who likes (A) Spider-Man, (B) Marvel Studios, or (C) money, a deal has finally been struck that returns Spider-Man to the fold so that he is now free to appear on occasion in the giant cross-over team movies that Marvel will be making, like the two part "Infinity Wars" movie.

This also means that we'll see a Sony Spider-Man world that feels like it is taking place in the same universe as the rest of the Marvel movies, something that is very promising and exciting. This is something we first mentioned on "Ask Drew" last year, when Sony was still struggling to figure out how to make the deal work. One of the reasons it was so hard to pin down the reporting on that story was because it was a completely liquid story. From day to day, it sounded like new ideas and new possibilities were being discussed, with no single voice in charge of how things would go. When the Sony hack happened, it proved a lot of what we were saying was right, and then Latino Review pinned the story down hard a week after that. This is something that all involved wanted... but it still wasn't easy to make it happen.

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Review: Colin Firth is surprisingly bad-ass in spry and subversive 'Kingsman'

Review: Colin Firth is surprisingly bad-ass in spry and subversive 'Kingsman'

HitFix
A-
Readers
n/a
This one's got a sharp wit and a surprising amount of cheek

One of the primary things that has made Mark Millar, Matthew Vaughn, and Jane Goldman such a logical and fruitful collaboration is their shared love of the subversion of the overly familiar and a real knack for finding what's fun or interesting about an archetype and turning it inside out. They did it with "Kick-Ass," and now they seem to have perfected the model with "Kingsman: The Secret Service."

The easy pitch for "Kingsman" would be "an R-rated version of 'Harry Potter' by way of James Bond," and that's not inaccurate. But it doesn't fully encapsulate all the ways that "Kingsman" works, and this is as aggressive a slice of mainstream entertainment as I've seen in recent memory. Fast and brash and told with a dangerous amount of cheek, this feels like a reaction to the Bond films in the same way that "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" was a reaction to the old Republic serials.

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